Monday, January 4

New Years Day (again)

So this weekend, I did the two things I said I don't do.

Friday, I joined a group ride that started as a FaceBook "come one, come all" invite from Scott Rusinko to hit Heartbreak Ridge.  It's a pretty common route to do on New Years Day, being that it's the first day the Old Toll Road reopens through the bear hunting area.

Anyways, I had no idea who all was going to show up, but this is not what happened:

"When I do get those off-"season" rides, I want them to be slower, shorter (in distance), fun, relaxed... not fitness oriented at all."

In the parking lot, I see many people I know.  Some I don't.  Some of these guys are the ones fighting it out for the King of Pisgah every year.  A couple that I found out later are pro road cyclists living in Asheville (not mentioning names because maybe they don't want that?).

Oh, and then there were a few of us mortals.

So anyways, roll out of the lot, make a turn, make another, stop one turn too late to make sure we're all there... and we lost at least Yuri and the pro roadies, because... oops.

Then up and up and up and the pro roadies ended up sliding in from a trail above us.  Serendipity, but no Yuri.  The female pro roadie climbed next to me up Rainbow Road for a short period asking me questions... without it affecting her breathing.  Who is this person?  I'm dying here.

At this point, the ride dynamic changed once again.

It is decided (I think) to split into two groups.  The faster group might do a little addition to the classic Heartbreak, the slower will commence with the completing the standard loop at a more human pace.  I ended up in a conversation about gears and single speeds and wheels, and before I knew it, the fast group was gone.  Now I chase.

I gave it as much as my January 1st body would allow.  I see glimpses of them through the trees occasionally until finally, I reached the back of the group. 

And then I blew up.

Fortunately, they waited at the overlook before continuing on.  I jumped back on with them, only to end up riding alone again, somewhere near the back of the group.   Oh yeah, I'm lamenting my gears almost the entire time.  I don't know if I've ever climbed Old Toll Road on a geared bike before, but I know how it feels on a SS, and I'm missing it something awful.

We got to the top, and there was Yuri.

He felt about the same way I'd feel if I showed up for a group ride and then ended up climbing all morning by myself wondering if I was never going to see the group again.  Instead of going along with the riders I'd worked so hard to staying in contact with, I decided to join Yuri and head right down Heartbreak from the trailers.

I don't get to ride with Yuri often, and we had a solid run down Heartbreak, talking in between the high speed deathy sections.  He managed an incredible pace, despite the turgidity of his fork and all the hidden obstacles under the leaves.

All in all, a sweet snowflake of a ride.  Probably no place that I would rather be on January 1st.

The other thing I did that I said I don't do, I'll get to it tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

You're such a tease.

I broke all the rules with one swift purchase. Ohhh and it feels sooo good.


Anonymous said...

you'll be ok, take two pills do it again tomorrow...